Scottish new car registrations reverse 10% despite private sales lift

Sales of new cars fell by more than 10 per cent last month in Scotland despite a slight rise in registrations of private vehicles.

New figures show that 11,761 motor vehicles were registered north of the Border during May, down from 13,088 in the same month last year. While there was a 6 per cent increase in private sales, business and fleet sales reversed sharply.

The Scottish break-out figures come after it emerged that UK new car sales had recorded their second weakest May in three decades.

There were 124,394 new cars registered across the UK last month, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said. That was down 20.6 per cent compared with the same month in 2021. It was the second lowest number of new cars registered in May since 1992.

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Only May 2020 - when the UK was in a coronavirus lockdown - was worse for the industry.

Industry leaders attributed the weak sales outcome to shortages of components which are reducing vehicle availability “despite demand”.

Registrations of pure electric cars bucked the overall trend last month, with a 17.7 per cent year-on-year increase.

SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said: “In yet another challenging month for the new car market, the industry continues to battle ongoing global parts shortages, with growing battery electric vehicle uptake one of the few bright spots.

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The motor retail market has had a tough time due to supply issues and weakened consumer spending. Picture: Lisa Ferguson

“To continue this momentum and drive a robust mass market for these vehicles, we need to ensure every buyer has the confidence to go electric.”

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Second-weakest May in 30 years for new car sales as supply fails to meet demand:...
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